Having an underbite is not only usually noticeable, it can also cause many different problems
with your smile. These include problems eating or speaking, jaw pain, and uneven wear of your
tooth enamel, which can cause tooth decay.
The main cause of an underbite is usually genetic and not something that can be prevented,
although in rarer cases thumb sucking, mouth breathing, or prolonged bottle feeding in
childhood can have the potential to cause an underbite.
Fortunately, there are several options to effectively treat your underbite so that you can have a
pain-free, healthy smile. What are your treatment options for an underbite?
Your individual case will be unique, but in many instances, orthodontics can work to correct an
underbite. Your treatment options will include traditional braces along with other options such
as Invisalign in the event that you don’t want visible braces.
Only a professional orthodontist can tell you if you qualify for orthodontic treatment for an underbite, so don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with your orthodontist or ask for a referral from your dentist to discover your underbite treatment choices through orthodontics.
Upper Jaw Expander
An upper jaw expander is a wire device that is fitted into your mouth. This device is not
removable during the time that it’s worn, but is intended to be adjusted daily at home. An
upper jaw expander will actually help your upper jaw to become wider and therefore alleviate
In many cases, people who suffer from underbites will have to wear the device for about a
year’s time and then wear a retainer afterward to prevent teeth shifting. This device is typically
managed by your orthodontist, so he or she can let you know more about what to expect!
Headgear is a device that typically attaches to the molars in your mouth and includes a band
that wraps around the head or neck. Headgear has many applications in orthodontics, including
pulling the upper jaw back in a position called a “reverse pull”.
Headgear can accelerate orthodontic treatment time and can help effectively alleviate both the
appearance and symptoms of your underbite. Headgear is typically only worn at night and for
no more than 12 hours a day, so ask your orthodontist if headgear may be able to help your
treatment for your underbite.
In rare cases, you may need to have jaw surgery to correct your underbite. During this
procedure, an oral surgeon will modify the bone in your jaw to reposition the lower jaw farther
back. For the majority of patients, surgery will not be necessary. However, in extreme cases,
surgery may be the most direct and beneficial option to fully correct an underbite.
Do you suffer from an underbite that’s hindering your smile’s function and appearance?
Underbites can be successfully treated, in many cases by an orthodontist. Schedule an
appointment with your dentist today to discuss your possibilities and, if necessary, get a
referral to a trusted orthodontist to help treat your underbite!